World Youth Skills Day 2018
On Sunday, 15th July 2018, it was the annual World Youth Skills Day and this offered us the chance, here at Regency to reflect on the work we do and the reasons why we work so hard.
As mentioned in the United Nations’ Youth Civic Engagement Report, the transition from youth to adulthood marks a key period where individuals are significantly more economically independent, politically involved and participating in community life. Yet there is a distinct barrier to this progression which is largely due to the global epidemic of youth unemployment. Currently, 73 million young people are desisted from experiencing the lives they deserve due to lack of job access in the first instance, but also through being employed by establishments that do not treat them with enough respect.
Globally, there is a recognised lack of sufficient employment opportunities for the youth and World Youth Skills Day specifically explores why this is the case and consequently draws attention to what needs to be done to try to remedy the situation. At the moment, we are faced with the problem of trying to create over 475 million jobs over the next decade in an attempt to absorb the 73 million youths that are unemployed.
A figure as high as 475 million is daunting. Naturally, there are a variety of opinions that suggest how to deal with this problem. Many UN member states have proposed targeted youth employment policies that do not only create jobs but strengthen their skills and training too. The International Community has set an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a distinct focus on education. A considerable amount of attention is being placed on developing technical and vocational skills, offering individuals work-based learning and ensuring that their skills can be recognised and certified.
At Regency Global, we place special emphasis on aligning our work with the Sustainable Development Goals. We are constantly evolving and incorporating new aspects of this agenda into our work processes to make sure we are helping to improve the lives of as many people as possible. Our flagship programme, ResponsibleME, was recently expanded to teach more life-skills to a variety of students. Such inclusions range from encouraging the students to set goals for themselves and knowing their worth, as well as emphasising the importance of looking after themselves, through the likes of exercise, nutrition, and sanitation.
Here at Regency, we think this is a necessary inclusion to the syllabus we teach. We want our students to become more aware of themselves and to increase their self-worth. Additionally, we have added a more entrepreneurial perspective to the course (with the later grades) in order to teach them useful business skills. We are aiming to embark on our latest project, Business Ignite, in 2019, which will see students having the chance to learn how to set up a business on a very practical level. Through this programme, students will also attain skills such as CV writing and job searching.
The unemployment rate among the South African youth is alarmingly high at 38.2%. As a nation, we certainly have our work cut out for us. However, if we continue to concentrate on making youths more skilled, encouraging them to pursue education – and training for longer, we should be able to reduce poverty levels. I am of the opinion that if we can primarily teach the youth to be aware of their worth, then they will sustain the motivation to continue to learn and develop themselves, in the hope that they will eventually attain a position where they are respected and where they are able to naturally transition into adulthood with the necessary tools.
Unfortunately, there has not been a significant change in youth unemployment levels across South Africa as of yet due to a variety of factors. However, by celebrating our youth on days like ‘World Youth Skills Day’, we continue to shine a light on the importance of our youth attaining skills, demonstrating that we are on the right path to dealing with this problem. Hopefully, the future will be brighter.
By Kitty Ive
An Intern at Regency Global